19 June 2012

People Who Can Or Can't Sing As The Case May Be

I've made a point of not watching the Voice. Reality TV irks me, and musical reality TV gets me downright upset. I’m not sure whether it’s a snobby superiority complex, whether I’m just plain jealous, or whether having walked behind the scenes of the phenomenon and experienced the level of professionalism that isn’t involved has left me (more) jaded and cynical to the whole thing, but public celebrations of the triumph of public relations over actual musical ability tend to make me want to throw things.

Over the last couple of nights I’ve been visiting friends at their houses, and have therefore taken in a couple of performances from the finals of the Voice. I found myself getting extremely annoyed at the fact that even in the finals of the competition, after all the inferior acts had supposedly been voted out, there was at least one competitor who was consistently singing flat.

I say at least one. Actually she was the only artist I ever saw. Every time I walked past a TV with the Voice on it, she seemed to be on stage being all … pink. As usual I got all puffed up in my musical indignation over a flat pop star, but then something really weird happened. My internal dialogue (don’t ask me how one person manages to have an internal dialogue. Just go with it) went something like this:

Gw2Rs: Ugh, that just makes me so annoyed. She really can’t sing.
Gw2Rs: Don’t be so negative, you’re just being a snob.
Gw2Rs: No I’m not. It just annoys me when someone who obviously can’t sing is being hailed by thousands of people as a great singer.
Gw2Rs: Like you could do any better.
Gw2Rs: I certainly couldn’t. I haven’t had the necessary training. Neither has she. That’s the point.
Gw2Rs: So what makes her different to you?
Gw2Rs: I don’t get up in front of thousands of people and say “look at me, I think I can sing.”
Gw2Rs: …
Gw2Rs: …
Gw2Rs: …
Gw2Rs: Shut up. That’s different.
Gw2Rs: …
Gw2Rs: Shut up! At least I don’t dress all in black with weird coloured hair.
Gw2Rs: …
Gw2Rs: I’m going to slap you in a minute.

All things considered, Hats Off to Broadway went very well. Certainly we’ve had a lot of great feedback from the audiences. One old friend of our family told me it was the best night of entertainment he’d ever had at the uni. I think his memory might be starting to go, but it was high praise nonetheless.

It was also nice to hear a lot of nice things being said about the Chorale. In the past a lot of people, including me, have tended to dismiss the Darwin Chorale as not really worth the effort. It’s safe to say we made an emphatic statement to the contrary last weekend, easily holding our own and at points even overshadowing the larger and much better funded Darwin Symphony Orchestra.

The after party was a bit of a laugh. There were the usual hugs and drinks and then more hugs and then more… well you know how it goes. Everyone expressed the usual remarks about how much fun it was doing a show, and how we should all get together and put on something really big and how much fun it is, and I just love you man, and how much fun is this?

I’ll believe the sentiment when I see the outcome.

Well… rehearsals are already beginning for the next Chorale show. Sometime in October there’ll be a big choral concert of all Australian music. It sounds like a lot of fun, but I’m not certain I’m prepared to sacrifice every Wednesday night from now until then to the gods of rehearsals, in addition to whatever other rehearsals get called along the way. We’ll see. In the meantime … um … what an incredible journey it’s been.

Make of that what you will.




Garry with 2 Rs
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